- Bassey Willie, Yenagoa & Yusha’u A. Ibrahim, Kano
Three years after she was allegedly kidnapped from Bayelsa State and taken to Kano State, where she was reportedly married off, Ese Rita Oruru has completed her secondary school education, just as the child got from the incident is turning three years, Daily Trust on Sunday has gathered.
Ese was alleged to have been kidnapped at the age of 13 by a man believed to be a friend to her family, Yunusa Dahiru, popularly called Yellow, who took her to his hometown in Kano.
It was gathered that after the incident, Ese’s parents, who were doing business in Bayelsa State, relocated her and other siblings to their village in Delta State, where they currently reside.
The daughter of Mr Charles and Rose Oruru, who hail from Uwheru community in Ughelli, Delta State, was allegedly married off to Yellow without her parents’ consent and subsequently impregnated.
While in Kano, she was reportedly converted to Islam and renamed Aisha. Ese was later rescued by the police in Kano with a five-month old pregnancy, allegedly belonging to Yunusa.
Yunusa was arraigned at the Federal High Court in Yenagoa in March, 2016 on a five-count charge of abduction, child trafficking, illicit sex, sexual exploitation and unlawful carnal knowledge.
A source who is close to Ese’s family, told Daily Trust on Sunday that she gave birth to a baby girl in late 2016.
Following her abduction, governments of both Bayelsa and Delta states promised to help take care of the child, but it was gathered that none of the promises were fulfilled.
The Bayelsa State Government had promised to offer scholarship to Ese so that she would return to school. But the source said the government had not fulfilled the promise.
However, it was learnt that because of security reasons, the family could not stay in an accommodation later provided for them at a location in Yenagoa.
Our source, who declined to be named, said: “Government also promised to establish a business for Ese’s mother, but they never did anything about it.
“Ese’s baby girl is about three-years-old now, she has reached school age, but due to logistic reasons, she is yet to start. The Bayelsa State Government promised us a scholarship, but until now we have not heard anything from the scholarship board. We relocated to Delta State and that was the end of all the promises.
“Even the Delta State Government that made promises to the family when we went home said they didn’t have any package for us. So we are hoping on God to bless the little we do to raise these children.
“Ese returned to school and completed her senior secondary education. If the governments of both states had lived up to their promises, we would make arrangement for her to continue her education, but they have removed their hands. We are facing our predicaments ourselves,’’ the source disclosed.
Daily Trust on Sunday also gathered that Yellow, who was earlier granted bail in 2016 at the Federal High Court in Yenagoa, was rearrested and detained in prison for breaking his bail condition.
He is currently remanded in prison. When Daily Trust on Sunday visited the Federal High Court Registry, an official on duty declined comment on the matter but rather referred our correspondent to the prisons headquarters in the state.
Our correspondent gathered that after the incident, Yunusa returned to Kano and engaged in business, shuttling between the two states to attend court sittings. His father said he was doing that until he fell sick sometime in May 2019 and missed four court sittings. He did not send any written excuse to the court or send a representative to inform them about his condition.
It was learnt that Yellow’s inability to communicate to the court, resulted in the presiding judge ordering his remand in prison custody, where he has been for three months now.
Speaking to Daily Trust on Sunday, Yellow’s father, Malam Dahiru Bala, expressed concern over the condition of his son, saying he did not have anybody in Yenagoa who could take care of him.
He said: “Since he left this village (Tofar-Danga) sometime in May this year, with the intention to attend to a court sitting and return to Kano, he has not returned. He only called and informed me that the court had ordered his remand in prison custody for his failure to attend its sittings four times.
“My worry now is that I am shouldering the responsibility of the little daughter and wife he left at home. I have spent the little money in my possession to take care of his family. I have never been to Bayelsa State, so it is difficult for me to visit him. To be honest with you, I do not know where to go and what to do to bring my son back.’’
Bala added that he had been communicating with his son through prison warders, who used to call him on phone whenever his son wanted to speak with him.
He further said: “I have gone to the Kano State Shari’ah Commission and the Hisbah Board, the agencies that earlier handled this case, but nothing tangible came out from the two agencies. My concern now is how to get someone that will help me pursue this case and bring back my son.”
He, therefore, appealed to the Kano State Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, the Emir of Rano, Dr Tafida Abubakar Ila, Muslim Lawyers Association of Nigeria (MULAN), Kano State Shari’ah Commission and the Kano State Hisbah Board to come to his aid and free his son.
When contacted, Huwaila Muhammad Ibrahim, a member of the MULAN, who earlier spearheaded the release of Yunusa on bail, said she was no longer a party to the case.
Huwaila said: “All I can recall is that the accused has jumped bail and missed four sittings of the court. Therefore, the judge remanded him in prison. To be honest with you, my hands are off that case. I am no longer a party to it. All I did before was for the sake of God. Now, I have no business whatsoever with this case.”
When contacted, the public relations officer of prisons in Bayelsa State, Mr Eteiye Police, promised to make inquiries and get back to our correspondent.